What should have been a routine box out at the free-throw line led to one of the most chaotic scenes in the NBA in some time. Lakers’ LeBron James was ejected after striking the Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart while competing for a rebound.

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What followed, was madness. With a bloody face, Stewart began to charge at LeBron James pushing anyone out the way who attempted to stop him. In addition to an ejection for both players, Russell Westbrook received a technical four.

“Everyone in the league knows LeBron’s not a dirty guy,” Anthony Davis said. “In fact, when he knew he hit him, as soon as he did it, he looked back at him like, ‘Oh, my bad. I didn’t try to do it.'”


Pistons coach Dwane Casey stated he did not believe James is a dirty player.

“It was a tough play with Isaiah,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “His eye got cracked all the way open, and he was upset for a reason. So, I don’t think James is a dirty player, but again, it got them going.”

“I don’t know what he was trying to do,” Davis said. “But I know nobody on our team, 1 through 15, was having it. We’re going to protect our brother. I’ve never, in 10 years, seen a player try to do that as long as I’ve been playing. … It’s uncalled for. You got a cut above your eye, accidental-like, it wasn’t on purpose. And we weren’t going to allow him to keep charging our brother like that. I don’t know what he was trying to do, but we wasn’t going to allow that.”

The incident came nearly 17 years to the day of the “Malice at the Palace.” During the scuffle, a PA announcer could be heard instructing fans to remain seated.